ZEN PATH is a Zen Buddhism monastery near Coos Bay, in Oregon. It is located in a beautiful
spot, overlooking the ocean with breathtaking scenery. The monastery is built in the traditional
Japanese temple style and has been operating for over 50 years. There are 23 full time monks
living there and depending on the time of the year and the activities another 10-15 people may
Most of the funding for ZEN PATH comes from wealthy sponsors who are attracted to the
philosophy and values of Zen Buddhism. However, the monastery has been forced, during the
last 5 years to rely on the tuition they charge for week-long Zen meditation retreats that target
upscale white collar professionals who are seeking ways to relieve the stress of modern life and
who want to explore spirituality based on the traditions of the Far East.
ZEN PATH is facing budgetary problems. The two main methods proposed are to either try to
attract more sponsors through fundraising, or to expand the meditation seminars and
workshops. Both methods have some limitations and advantages. Fundraising will minimize the
impact of the outside world on the monastery, but given the economic conditions the potential
sponsors are very few. The demand for the meditation seminars is high, but this would distort
the monastery’s mission as being “beyond the material world” and create the danger that it may
end up as a commercial enterprise.
What method or combination of methods should ZEN PATH select?
1. Outline the pro and cons of either method. Identify in detail the metrics ZEN PATH’s
management should use to assess which one is the best. You are not supposed to
select a method, just compare them and provide ALL relevant information that you will
need to make a decision.
2. Who are the key stake holders for ZEN PATH?
3. Let us assume that ZEN PATH chose to offer meditation seminars as the main source of
additional income. They will still try to get sponsors, but the seminars will be the main
source of new funds. What is the image that the monastery should project to the diverse
stakeholders given the new changes? Describe it in a short statement (20-word limit).
4. What social media should be used and how should they be structured to help ZEN
PATH deal with its financial constraints given the choice of offering seminars? Provide a
detailed list of the social media they should use, as well as how they should use them.
Be as specific as possible. For example, if they were to use Twitter, then you should
provide a sample tweet message. Listing all possible social media is not a good answer.
You may list several, but I would like to see how ZEN PATH should rank the ones they
should use based on their importance for this particular situation.
5. Describe the key elements of the web site to maximize awareness, and attendance to
the services (meditation training) as well as to make ZEN PATH more attractive to
6. Once ZEN PATH started offering more meditation seminars, a philosophy professor at a
local university sent a sarcastic twitter message claiming that ZEN PATH should change
its name to DOLLAR PATH since they had become very commercialized. The message
has been re-twitted a lot. How should ZEN PATH use reputation management
techniques and social media to defend themselves from a message that may soon go
7. What metrics (both in terms of web analytics and non-web metrics) should ZEN PATH
use to assess (a) the success of the offering of meditation seminars, (b) the
effectiveness of the modified brand image to attract more sponsors, and (c) the
effectiveness of their activities to limit the reputation damage from the philosopher’s
1. (10 points) 10 points will be given on a detailed and proper selection of the key metrics
needed to compare the two methods
2. (5 points) The points will be given based on identifying the key stakeholders and explain
what they want from ZEN PATH.
3. (10 points) The points will be given based on describing a brand image that can balance
the diverse stakeholder demands and be communicated effectively
4. (20 points) The points will be given based on identifying the most appropriate social
media, ranking them in terms of importance, and explain how they should be used to
generate long term interest for ZEN PATH..
5. (20 points) The points will be given based on identifying and describing in detail how the
website should be designed, and what should be on it, to generate long term interest for
6. (15 points) The points will be given based on how effective the countermeasures for
defending ZEN PATH’s reputation are. You need to select the right tools and use them
7. (20 points) The points will be given based on identifying the key metrics for all activities
and goals listed throughout the situation except question #1 which is separate